A Competitive Review of SOA Appliances (2012)
SOA appliances have matured considerably over the last few years. As they have established themselves more firmly in the SOA landscape, vendors have developed a better understanding of requirements, resulting in a level of commonality in some of the key underlying functions such as providing a secure gateway for accessing SOA services. However, technology never stays still, and recent years have seen a broadening of the SOA mission and the introduction of new use-cases to drive maximum value from corporate SOA investments. SOA services are being opened up to mobile and cloud applications as well as B2B trading partner usage, and the growing trend of exposing corporate APIs for third party application development is driving increasing levels of SOA activity.
This broadening of access makes it even more important to control and secure corporate services, and SOA appliances can play a vital role in protecting the corporate world from unauthorized usage or other forms of risk. But more than just a gateway, SOA appliances also offer a route to SOA simplification and TCO reduction by offloading and consolidating repetitive SOA activities onto purpose-built, cost-efficient and productive specialized platforms, and provide the logical point to control and manage SOA service authorization and usage.
This new assessment takes a look at the SOA appliances being offered by four leading vendors in the marketplace. In a change from the earlier Lustratus assessment in this area, only vendors offering hardware appliances are covered this time around; so-called ‘soft appliances’ just do not have the same security and TCO benefits to put them in the same class as the hardware appliance solutions. The vendors covered in this new assessment are Forum Systems, IBM, Layer 7 and Vordel.